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Should We Regulate Drivers As They Age?

SS Member Image By drodriguez 09.16.11
Should We Regulate Drivers As They Age?
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News of Reese Witherspoon’s recent accident spread fast after the actress was hit by a car while jogging across a crosswalk. Fortunately for Witherspoon, she was not hurt too badly . US magazine reports that she did suffer a small gash on her forehead, but other than that is doing fine.

Though Witherspoon has said she will not press charges against the 84 year old driver who hit her, the driver was ticketed by police after the accident. TMZ also reports that police are demanding the driver retake a driving and eye test within the next 30 days as well as providing the DMV with a list of all the medications she is currently taking.

This brings us to the question of whether there should be more regulations placed on drivers as they age. The AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety released a study that reveals drivers over age 75 are over two and a half times more likely to die in a car crash than younger drivers. And drivers who are over 85 are four times more likely to die in a car crash than drivers age 55 to 64.

President of the AAA Foundation, Peter Kissinger, explains why he recommends most senior drivers take refresher driving courses or a driver improvement course. Kissinger says, “As we age, our reaction time and other cognitive skills can diminish. For instance, our eyesight deteriorates to such an extent that by age 60 we require ten times the amount of light necessary to see an object as when we were 16."

AAA has a site dedicated to helping seniors assess their own driving skills as they age and plan for their continued mobility in the future.

Do you think there should be regulations to reassess driver’s abilities as they age?

Or do you think this should be up to the driver and the driver’s family to decide?

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  • Gingerdavis By Gingerdavis

    I think there should be more requirements to assess peoples awareness and driving ability as they age. My family has recently taken the keys away from grandparents because they know longer possess the ability to drive safely. However according to the DMV they are perfectly capable. Should families be more responsible in governing the driving of their elderly family members yes, but can we rely on the family to make sure unsafe drivers are off the road no. How many unnecessary acidents do we have to have before some one steps up and requires more from the state and local governing bodies on this issue.

  • gigi12 By gigi12

    I believe a standard test for vision and reaction time must be put into place for all over 75.

  • suzan1130 By suzan1130

    Yes I do, but I would say 65 and older

  • Spope7661 By Spope7661

    Yes - I believe drivers should be retested after 65 for overall safety on the roads.

  • Proudmommyof1 By Proudmommyof1

    The older I get and im only 45 I would say yes, I would like for their to be a standard eye and written test for those 65 and older. So many changes go on during the years past 60 heck 40 lol and it will be in the best interest of everyone involved to get re-tested. Too many elderly drivers are driving down the wrong side of the street and highway, its scary...

  • AuntieE By AuntieE

    I believe that when we reach a certain age, we should all be subject to review on a regular basis by our state DMV offices. I have seen both young and old do crazy things while driving. The elderly seem to be just as oblivious as the young kid who is showing off for his/her peers, etc.

  • fajaer By fajaer

    This past Wednesday I saw an older lady over 70, not stop for a school bus! She slowed down, but did not make the complete stop as you're supposed to. A child crossing the street could have been killed, but luckily nothing happened. Yes Senior Citizens need to be assessed!

  • sophie3739 By sophie3739

    i think drivers should be tested after a certain age especially if they have an accident.

  • swisseyes By swisseyes

    I think as an older person retires they should be tested. People may not even know that they are not as likely to be able to stop or make a split decision as they age. I would say at age 60..

  • cleanliving By cleanliving

    Yes, I believe there should be a retesting around age 65 and then again every time the license needs renewal. We had to take my grandfathers car keys away from him, on his own he would not stop driving and we were fearful he would hurt someone.

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